22 September 2017

Fabric and swatch organization + small tour of my room

This year I told myself I would be better at organizing my living and creative space (which happen to both be my bedroom). Something I really enjoy is home improvement (I'm one of those types that actually enjoy watching HGTV while waiting at the Verizon store) and lately downsizing the clutter I end up accumulating over time. Living in an apartment again has taught me a lot about maximizing vertical space and minimizing stuff I don't need. 

I already knew I wanted a customizable bookshelf for my CDs, video games, and manga, so while browsing for inspiration I came across these skinnier bookshelves from IKEA. They're more popularly used for CDs but I really like how you can customize the shelving heights to fit your needs!!
Here's a shot of my desk from a couple months ago. This was before I built my PC and adjusted my mirror.
This is what my desk looks like now! I finally bought a new monitor (the one I've been using on the right is from 2009), and it has an HDMI port! I've been using it for my PS4 which has been great. I moved my sewing machine back to my drafting table and the extra arm room has been such a blessing. I think my next short term goal is saving up for a white keyboard (posssssibly the WhiteFox?), since my old monitor is still plenty usable. 
 Here's a shot of my bed, on a good day! I've had the same bed for a very long time now, actually. I want to say over 10 years... it's still sturdy!! It's also almost never this clean, but I try (although not hard enough.. I should've ironed my sheets.)
My drafting table! I work on patterning, drawing, and crafting here. It faces the window so I enjoy working here instead of my computer desk. 
ー( ´ ▽ ` )ノ I somewhat recently bought a print from KIDO that I still need to frame, and there's some books I purchased that I'm excited to read.

The next task I've been trying to tackle was my collection of fabric swatches. I had a drawer piled with swatches of all various shapes and sizes, but it wasn't an effective or efficient means of referring back to them. I went to Michaels and got these small books with a kraft paper interior. Could I have made these myself with a 2/D-ring bind for easier modification? Maybe later. Right now I wanted to start getting things cleaned, without overwhelming myself.
I really liked the pastel pink polka dots and the cream color, so I got both.

I needed the swatches to be big enough, but I didn't want a binder-sized book that would be cumbersome to put on my desk. My limited floorspace is also limited deskspace - and maximizing that space is something I need to constantly keep in mind. With pinking shears in hand, I set to work filling up the books!
 From page to page, there's a hodge podge of size differences and swatch type (square or strip) since I'm at the mercy of retailers, but I think that's what makes this method of swatchkeeping somewhat charming. It's like a scrap reference book.
Here, for example -- these knits are longer than most of my woven swatches, but it helps me see how it would stretch and fold, etc.
I also debated between using tape (being able to pull out the swatch at whim), or staples (kinda ugly). The idea of having to reapply tape or having the swatches potentially fall out wasn't worth the trouble, so I opted for staples. It doesn't look too bad in the end, if everything's staggered like above.

Finally, probably the largest undertaking yet, was facing my fabric bins...
It was impossible to know what fabric I already had that I could use for an upcoming costume, let alone reach any of it with a reasonable amount of effort. I never liked this method of fabric storing, but it's what I could do and what I had on hand. Until another trip to IKEA and 1 Billy bookcase later. :) 
 I can't remember what prompted the sudden need to reorganize my bins, but it was a "that's it!" moment that kicked me into cleaning mode. Messy messy!
I like organizing by color, and I had a lot of darks, so I rolled up all my dark fabric first and started stacking. I debated between folding vs rolling, but rolling was just so much easier to take out and put back. AND less ironing! I also had a bunch of ribbon that I never used, so I decided to make use of them.
Coming together! Wow, I didn't realize how much fabric I had...
and a recent shot of it! My books were also overflowing from the bookshelf next to it, so I added them up to the top shelf. :) Sometimes it's tricky if the fabric is really wide, but taking the time to measure out the length isn't too bad. An extra bonus was that I didn't have to shimmy sideways to go through my hallway anymore! Woohoo! Making this change felt really great, and I've already begun to use up the fabric I have already owned for.. probably years. :p 

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